A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Mario All-Stars: 25th Anniversary Edition is a collection of decades-old platformer games, most of which are considered classics within the video game community. The action is innocuous; the worst players will see is purely fantastical characters being squished by one of Mario’s jumps or kicked off the screen. Virtually nothing here can be equated to the real world. Note, though, that some of the challenges -- particularly those in the Lost Levels portion of this compilation -- can prove fearsomely challenging.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
A collection of classic Mario games, SUPER MARIO ALL-STARS: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION contains four complete titles originally developed for the quarter-century-old Nintendo Entertainment System: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (A.K.A. Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan). This compilation was originally release for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993, and remains more or less unchanged, save the addition of a souvenir booklet containing art from and text about the series and a CD that features some classic sound effects and audio tracks from Mario games released over the last 25 years.
Is it any good?
There’s little not to like about the interactive entertainment on offer in this collection. Two of the most memorable games ever made -- Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 -- are just as much fun today as they were back in the mid-1980s, and ought to keep both kids and parents entertained for a long while. Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (originally released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), offers some of the most challenging 2-D platformer gaming of its era and should prove a good test for hardcore Mario fans. Super Mario Bros. 2, the odd-duck out due to its origins (it was originally a non-Mario game in Japan and re-made with Mario personalities for U.S. release), is fun, too.
Our only real beef with the package is that it offers nothing new. These games have not been visually polished for the Wii. Plus, the CD and art booklet are squandered opportunities. The booklet’s recounting of the franchise offers little meaningful insight, and the CD is far from comprehensive. Fans will be disappointed. The games are great, but the overall package is lacking.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of video games. How have games evolved since these were released more than two decades ago? Are modern games more fun?
Families can also discuss Mario’s continued popularity. Why are Mario games past and present so revered? What makes a Mario game different and potentially special?
His iconic status in popular culture has turned Mario-branded paraphernalia into collectible items. Do you actively seek out Mario merchandise? If so, what do you hope to gain from owning it?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.